You’re an adult, so we assume you can handle this email.
Imagine you’re in the middle of the biggest moment of your career.
Suddenly, someone starts attacking and criticizing your son. They’re not completely wrong. Your son has made mistakes. Your son has struggled with addiction and bad decision-making. Those decisions have cost your family money, maybe. It’s caused you untold stress, personally. It’s made you sad and it’s made you angry. It’s certainly caused problems for you at work.
What do you do? It’s definitely not what you want to be talking about. It’s not a position you asked to be put in and not fair that you find yourself there now. So… what do you do? You could express some of these feelings. You could distance yourself. You could deflect, obfuscate, change the subject. You could even lie and deny. It wouldn’t be the first time a parent did that.
But, no. There is only one response. It’s the response that Joe Biden gave in the first presidential debate when Donald Trump invoked the name of his son Hunter. Biden took a breath, he calmed himself, he fought back a wave of pain and said:
My son, like a lot of people… had a drug problem. He’s overtaken it. He’s fixed it. He’s worked on it. And I’m proud of him. I’m proud of my son.
Whoever you’re going to vote for is up to you, but if you don’t understand what the right response for a parent is—for a father—in this situation, then you’re on the wrong side of history, and existing in the dark side of humanity.